Barking and Dagenham improves its Controlled Parking Zone coverage
Barking and Dagenham is the London borough with the largest year-on-year improvement on this Healthy Streets Scorecard measure, with an eight per cent increase in the extent of its road network that is subject to controlled parking (up from 21% in February 2019 to 29% in February 2020).
CPZs make it easier for local residents and workers to park near their homes and workplaces. They help reduce traffic and pollution by discouraging commuter parking and can also improve safety, particularly around schools, by reducing dangerous parking. They also give better access to emergency and utility vehicles.
We asked the Council to tell us more about its Controlled Parking Zone expansion programme.
Four-year CPZ expansion programme
Back in July 2018, a year before the launch of our inaugural Scorecard, the Council approved a four-year Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) programme. This focused on two areas:
- Expansion of existing CPZ schemes introduced at various stages over the past 20 years, primarily located around the borough’s train stations, into 16 new areas, most notably around the Heathway, Becontree, Dagenham East and Chadwell Heath zones; and
- 20 new school-specific zones located around 51 of the borough’s schools.
CPZ project (2018-2022)
The Council’s aims were to:
- improve access to parking for residents, visitors, businesses and blue badge holders
- improve air quality by promoting less vehicle usage and more sustainable modes of transport. (As part of this commitment, parking permit fees and charges are based on environmentally-harmful CO2 emissions. Costs are higher for more polluting vehicles to encourage people to move to less polluting vehicles and households can get free permits for up to two electric vehicles. A surcharge of £75 is applied to all diesel vehicles that do not meet the Euro 6d emission standards and were registered before 1 January 2018.)
- improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion by providing clarity around where it is safe and considerate to park
- improve access for pedestrians by clarifying where parking is allowed on the footway.
The initial phase of the project started in October 2018 with a stakeholder consultation including schools, businesses and community hubs such as churches and community centres.
Following this process, the Council decided to implement four expansion areas (A- D) which became operational in July 2019 (the same month as the inaugural London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard was published). In the previous four years, 68 road accidents had taken place within these zones and since 11 schools are located within these areas, pupil safety was a priority for the Council.
Only 13% of the 8,117 households who were asked for their views on extending the CPZs objected to the proposals.
Since then, stakeholders were consulted on the second phase and subsequently a further five schemes (S5, E, F, G and H) became fully operational in April 2020.
The Council planned to begin consultation on the third phase, which focuses on a further eight areas, I – L (expansion areas) and S1 – S4 (school dedicated zones), but this is on hold due to the pandemic. It is anticipated the scheme will recommence in September, although this is yet to be confirmed.
The Council reports CPZ coverage in the borough has grown by approximately 100 – 150% since the first phase of the scheme was introduced in July 2018.
The project outcomes are:
- over 15,000 residential households consulted who now have access to permits and improved opportunities to park
- an additional 215 roads now benefit from controlled parking resulting in improved access for local motorists
- an additional 21 schools now have controls close by, helping to keep vulnerable pedestrians safer and healthier
- a significant growth in the amount of parking controls around secondary shopping parades, community hubs and formalised blue badge parking.
Reducing congestion and improving safety
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, told us: “We know one of the biggest bugbears for our residents is parking – so we want to try and make our borough safer, greener and fairer for everyone by introducing CPZs that put local people first.
“This isn’t about making money, it is about listening to our residents, reducing congestion and improving safety on our roads. Some people can’t park near their homes because drivers use their streets as free car parks, while there have been incidents where the emergency services and our refuse trucks have struggled to get down some roads.
“Despite initial misgivings I am glad to say that our residents can now see the benefits, either through less congestion in front of schools, being able to park near or in front of their homes and most importantly the health benefits and good air quality.”
Find out more about why Controlled Parking is one of our Healthy Streets Scorecard indicators.